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Is it necessary to formally “homeschool” your toddler? No!
Toddlers are learning all day, every day without a dedicated or rigorous learning schedule or plan. They learn by watching those around them, playing, practicing new skills verbally and physically, being exposed to new experiences such as foods and places, etc.
So why do I “homeschool” my toddler? Because he wants me to!
He has watched me teach his older siblings for the past two years, and his desire to learn just like them is evident. He asks to do school with me every day, and is engaged when I do spend that time with him.
This became apparent to me over the summer of 2022, and I spent several days before we started our school year in the fall making a toddler busy binder for him. I keep all of the interactive pages in a 3″ binder, and any extra activities or books in a basket (this one is similar, and cuter!), that lives on our bookshelf. I remove or add in pages as needed, so it’s always changing.
His busy binder is divided into sections that include colors, shapes, matching, numbers, and phonics/letters.
I initially “planned” on spending about 15 minutes a day with him. That hasn’t exactly worked out how I wanted with the workload I have with his older siblings, but I do try to do some activities with him 2-3 times a week, whether it is with the busy binder or something more hands on, and he seems to be satisfied with that.
Here is how he does school.
First, we start off with some music. He was gifted these fun wooden instruments that he uses when we do some sing/dance along songs, and he has a blast with it. I like to use Ms. Rachel on YouTube, or anyone that has sing along or dance along songs for toddlers. He will do four or five sings, while I prepare his activities for him.
I don’t have a set plan for what I do with him, I just pull out activities that he either hasn’t done in awhile, or that are new for him. Most of these are free printables I found online.
And that’s it! All together we end up spending 10-20 minutes together, time depending on how long I allow for music, and how interested he is in it all. Some days he will complete all of the activities, other days he isn’t as interested and we don’t work together as long. It’s very go-with-the-flow. Nothing is forced upon him, it is purely interest led.
Below are some other activities we have done together. We don’t do everything every time we sit down together. And yes, still in pajamas ; )
These are the main topics and types of activities I do with him, along with hands on fun like his sand table, play doh, and kinetic sand. There are SO MANY free resources available online that allow me to be able to do these activities with him, for FREE. I wouldn’t say I’m the most creative person when it’s time to put together activities for him, but I sure can look up ideas and support other mommas that have a knack for creating these resources.
Would you do these with your toddler?
Let me know below! And, as always, thanks for being here!